This video represents the vision and work of three spring tree climbing expeditions to the Sierra Nevada of California to explore the canopy of the Giant Sequoia. Colin Crilley and Jake Rudin and I met during our first visit to the canopy of the Giant Sequoia in the spring of 2010. We were doing initial research in a collaboration with University of California at Berkeley on seed cones from the canopy. After that initial trip, we put together a collection of video clips and published the video on the Cornell Tree Climbing Institute Youtube Channel. In that video, we got permission to use the music from the artists featured by simply writing them on MySpace.
Before leaving for California in May 2011, Colin got the idea of creating a DIY fig-rig to stabilize our shots. We experimented during our scouting days with the new fig rig on a small Canon digital camera. Colin and I cut a very simple "behind the scenes" style video and again published it on the CTCI's Youtube channel.
After our scouting was complete, Rob Moore arrived to the scene with a fresh perspective, a detailed shot-list and pile of enthusiasm. At the same time, Jake Rudin arrived with some Sony HD Handicams borrowed from the library at Cornell. While climbing the Giant Sequoia, teaching a class to Cornell undergrads and doing seed research we collected an hour or so of video footage. Although we only were able to put a fraction of our energy towards the filming, we were pretty stoked on some of the shots we made. Colin suggested we do some interviews to make a narrative for the story, which proved very useful during the edit.
It wasn't until September until we were all able to sit down as a team and edit. Back in Ithaca, In Rob's living room, we strung up a white sheet on the wall which served as our makeshift editing studio. Rob's dumpster-doven projector was paired with Colin driving his laptop with Final Cut. To keep us from getting distracted, I proposed any off-topic discussions would be rewarding with a flying shoe to the head. After many late-night editing sessions in October of 2011, we finished our first cut and sent it to a few friends for review. After hearing our friends suggestions we made a few tweaks to the feel and flow of the video. Over winter break, Jake took the film home to his father who works as a professional in the sound industry. Together Jake and his father worked out the final score. Then in early February of 2012, Colin synced the new audio to the video and put a final touch on the color. Finally, we sent the film to the Banff Mountain Film festival in July of 2012. During that submission process we had to create resumes, full-size movie posters and a bunch of other details.
We heard back from Banff a few months ago the film wasn't selected as a finalist. Only a few days ago though, we got another email with notes from the selection team. We were stoked to learn it scored a 3.4 while a 3.5 is usually the minimum for selection. The feedback from the selection team was quite brutal and honest and will be useful information in future projects.
This video has been a grassroots project from the beginning.Rob, Colin, Jake and I have put a ton of our energy, time and resources into this basic production and learned a lot along the way. We hope you enjoy the video, share it with your friends! You can see more of Rob, Jake, Dan and Colin's work at the links below:
Colin Crilley, Director, Editor, Ccrilley.com
Rob Moore, Producer, Adventures of Rob Moore
Jake Rudin, Climber, Artist, Art work by Jake Rudin
Sound Design, Score Recording & Production by Dan Rudin